Metronome question

Jonathan31

Member
Messages
1,385
When practicing my timing I often play a rhythm over my metronome. Should the down strum of a new chord be right on the click? Mine are usually a fraction of a second before the click.
 

rednoise

Member
Messages
733
When practicing my timing I often play a rhythm over my metronome. Should the down strum of a new chord be right on the click? Mine are usually a fraction of a second before the click.
Whatever you do should be deliberate, and you should have full control over it. Ideally, you should be able to play in front of, right on, or behind the click, and be able to move between them at will.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,623
When practicing my timing I often play a rhythm over my metronome. Should the down strum of a new chord be right on the click? Mine are usually a fraction of a second before the click.
Sounds like you should:
A. skip the metronome altogether and just play along with recordings. I assume you have slow-downer software?
and/or B. take a few lessons and learn some basic musicianship, including how to use a metronome.
 

JonR

Member
Messages
14,878
When practicing my timing I often play a rhythm over my metronome. Should the down strum of a new chord be right on the click? Mine are usually a fraction of a second before the click.
For basic metronome practice, yes. You should be exactly in time with the click, that's the whole point of practising with a metronome. Ultimately you won't hear the click because your chord will coincide and obscure it.

It's quite common to speed up, so you end up playing before the click - but the point of the exercise is to train yourself to relax and hold the tempo, so you don't get ahead of the click.

More advanced metronome practice varies - generally by making it more difficult to stay in time. But you have to start easy. If you have trouble staying with the click at medium to fast tempos (say anything above 100), you shouldn't be making it any more difficult by slowing it down, or playing with the click on different beats.

guitarjazz may be right, you should start a lot easier and play along with backing tracks, where you have a lot more information to follow. (Record yourself so you can check how in or out of time you are.)

Here's one of my favourite metronome demos:
 

Duffy Pratt

Member
Messages
2,915
A strum is the sounding of several notes, not all at precisely the same time. So what does it mean to line up the strum with a click? Are you lining up the first sound, the highest amplitude, something in the middle, the last thing to be strummed?
 

Jonathan31

Member
Messages
1,385
For basic metronome practice, yes. You should be exactly in time with the click, that's the whole point of practising with a metronome. Ultimately you won't hear the click because your chord will coincide and obscure it.

It's quite common to speed up, so you end up playing before the click - but the point of the exercise is to train yourself to relax and hold the tempo, so you don't get ahead of the click.

More advanced metronome practice varies - generally by making it more difficult to stay in time. But you have to start easy. If you have trouble staying with the click at medium to fast tempos (say anything above 100), you shouldn't be making it any more difficult by slowing it down, or playing with the click on different beats.

guitarjazz may be right, you should start a lot easier and play along with backing tracks, where you have a lot more information to follow. (Record yourself so you can check how in or out of time you are.)

Here's one of my favourite metronome demos:
Thanks. I have been playing for about 15 yrs but it as been awhile since I practiced with a metronome. Wanted to make sure my timing was ok since I haven’t practiced it in a while. I seem to have pretty good timing but my down strum is consistently a fraction of a second before the click. Or maybe I’m right in the click already idk
 

JonR

Member
Messages
14,878
Thanks. I have been playing for about 15 yrs but it as been awhile since I practiced with a metronome. Wanted to make sure my timing was ok since I haven’t practiced it in a while. I seem to have pretty good timing but my down strum is consistently a fraction of a second before the click.
Well, it depends how big that "fraction" is. ;)
Or maybe I’m right in the click already idk
Well, you have to know! :rolleyes2: If you're not sure, record yourself and listen back. You probably do hit the click successfully sometimes, but you have to be consistent. A "fraction of a second" may be OK if it really is a tiny fraction, especially if it's sometimes early, sometimes late - but it should be barely noticeable.

Halve the metronome click rate and see if you find it harder (you should).
 
Messages
2,683
It does my heart good to see people embracing metronome usage. Discipline is only gained by being held accountable. Metronomes keep us honest.

You would be surprised to learn that many students actually need to slow down, as they are often rushing in an effort to perform certain phrases/passages. They are often at once pleased and relieved to learn that they were closer to successful execution of the given piece than they thought. The imposition of a metronome may 8nitially be unnerving even upsetting, but, in nearly every instance, they prove fruitful
 

Jon

Member
Messages
1,567
You could try this?

 

Furious George

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
148
A strum is the sounding of several notes, not all at precisely the same time. So what does it mean to line up the strum with a click? Are you lining up the first sound, the highest amplitude, something in the middle, the last thing to be strummed?
From a listening perspective, you want to bury the click. So taking your example. the 1st string of the chord and the last string of the chord should surround the click.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,664
At one time I woulda wholeheartedly agreed with using backing tracks instead of metronome.
But I was just reminded by the drummer I work with that when we did a workshop together he pulled out some James Brown live thing that was 16th note funk at a seriously coked up 150 bpm.
I told him I'd choke on the pattern at that tempo and to slow the tempo down so the guys wouldn't get dissapointed.
His answer...no way, they need to learn to stay in time no matter what.
And they actually did.

It's kinda like students that want to play fast and just won't get there because of years of practice that instead of perfect made permanent.
Very much like the concept of walking vs. running.

Same with time, metronome...ditch the guitar...learn to listen and verbalize where stuff goes before putting hands on instrument.
I'm a big fan of if it doesn't come from the inside it ain't there. And an instrument isn't needed to learn basic or even advanced stuff.

If for every guy spending time and money on pick slanting folks would listen to what their body tells them and heed the most basic instructions that can be found in @ieso picking treatise and practice...well then everything would be strawberry shortcake.
 

LagunaMan

Member
Messages
564
When I started playing sometimes my foot would start to tap by itself but then after couple of seconds it would stop. I couldn't replicate the experience again at will. Then again the foot would start to tap and it took me couple of years to figure out that this involuntary action can be invoked by me at will if I played in time and had some cool groove going. Sometimes I put on a backing track and do some soloing where I play single notes in a rhythmic pattern and my foot would start to tap again. Then you get into the groove all of a sudden you're playing to the backing track in perfect time. Then instead of picking every note you press down several notes in succession and all of a sudden you've got some very liquid and musical solos. You've got to learn to feel the rhythm of the backing track so that you can play on top of it and be in groove with it. Start asking a question "How do I make my foot tap by itself" and then try to figure it out. The more in groove you play the stronger your foot will tap.
 

ieso

Member
Messages
3,375
At one time I woulda wholeheartedly agreed with using backing tracks instead of metronome.
But I was just reminded by the drummer I work with that when we did a workshop together he pulled out some James Brown live thing that was 16th note funk at a seriously coked up 150 bpm.
I told him I'd choke on the pattern at that tempo and to slow the tempo down so the guys wouldn't get dissapointed.
His answer...no way, they need to learn to stay in time no matter what.
And they actually did.

It's kinda like students that want to play fast and just won't get there because of years of practice that instead of perfect made permanent.
Very much like the concept of walking vs. running.

Same with time, metronome...ditch the guitar...learn to listen and verbalize where stuff goes before putting hands on instrument.
I'm a big fan of if it doesn't come from the inside it ain't there. And an instrument isn't needed to learn basic or even advanced stuff.

If for every guy spending time and money on pick slanting folks would listen to what their body tells them and heed the most basic instructions that can be found in @ieso picking treatise and practice...well then everything would be strawberry shortcake.
Ed, I love strawberry shortcake ! :)
 




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